56th Annual Classical GRAMMY Nominations Announced (as Quixotic as Ever!)

By Classicalite Newsdesk on Dec 09, 2013 08:45 PM EST

The Grammy nominations are out, and as often happens, the list is rather rife with surprises, with what might have seemed more central fare often edged out (with telling exceptions such as Simon Rattle's Rite of Spring). Relatively small labels like 2L and ArtistShare have multiple nominations, while indie giants like Harmonia Mundi, Hyperion and BIS getting few or one. Or none.

Some industry watchers from classical music find the Grammys perplexing, even frustrating given the magnitude of the Grammys brand, and the idiosyncratic nature of the nominations list may be to blame for what has often been a small actual sales bump experienced by the winners.

That said, the classical industry will cheer a posthumous nomination for the late Colin Davis. And the amount of exposure for new music is vital for classical music's future (Thomas Adès' opera The Tempest even gets nominated for its second recording in quick succession, following the world premiere issue on EMI). And there will be mixed, and deep, emotions about a nomination for the beleaguered Minnesota Orchestra--genuine delight tinged with genuine sadness at the band's continuing travails.

The classical nominations are...

Best Album Notes -- Waving the classical flag, Jonathan Cott's notes for Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring in Sony's reissue of the Bernstein/New York Phil recording. Nice to see the wordsmiths getting a cheer.

Best Historical Album -- Classical's nod comes with the deluxe edition of the Solti Ring, which seems about right given that this is a big anniversary year for that era-defining Wagner set.

Best Engineered Album, Classical -- Morten Lindberg for Hymn to the Virgin (Tone Bianca Sparre Dahl & Schola Cantorum for the 2L label); La Voie Troimphale again with Lindberg for 2L; Mark Donahue & Jesse Lewis for Roomful of Teeth on New Amsterdam Records; Hand-Martin Renz, Wolfgang Rixius & Ulrich Ruscher for Vinci: Artaserse on Virgin Classics; David Frost, Brian Losch & Tim Martyn for Winter Morning Walks on ArtistShare.

Producer of the Year, Classical -- ECM's Manfred Eicher; David Frost; Marina A.Ledin & Victor Ledin; James Mallinson of LSO Live and Mariinsky Live; Jay David Saks

Best Orchestral Performance -- Neeme Järvi's Atterberg: Orchestral Works Vol. 1 on Chandos, with the Gothenburg Symphony; Esa-Pekka Salonen's Lutosławski: Symphony No. 1 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on Sony; Schumann: Symphony No. 2 conducted by Claudio Abbado and the Orchestra Mozart for DG; the Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä with Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4; Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps conducted by Sir Simon Rattle with the Berlin Philharmonic for EMI Classics.

Best Opera Recording -- The Tempest, conducted by (its composer) Thomas Adès, with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra on DG; Britten's The Rape of Lucretia conducted by Oliver Knussen for Virgin Classics; Kleiberg's David & Bathsheba conducted by Tonu Kaljuste for 2L; Vinci: Artaserse conducted by Diego Fasolis on Virgin Classics; Wagner's Der Ring Des Nibelungen with the Orchestra of the Vienna Staatsoper conducted by Christian Thielemann for DG.

Best Choral Performance -- Berlioz's Grande Messe Des Morts, London Symphony Orchestra and Choir conducted by Sir Colin Davis for LSO Live; Palestrina: Volume 3, The Sixteen conducted by Harry Christophers for Coro; Works by Parry, Neeme Järvi conducting the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales for Chandos; Part's Adam's Lament, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Sinfonietta Riga & Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, and Latvian Radio Choir & Vox Clamantis conducted by Tõnu Kaljuste for ECM; Whitbourn's Annelies, the Lincoln Trio and Westminster Williamson Voices conducted by James Jordan for Naxos.

Best Chamber Music / Small Ensemble Performance -- Beethoven Violin Sonatas, Leonidas Kavakos & Enrico Pace for Decca; Cage The 10,000 Things, Vicki Ray, William Winant, Aron Kallay & Tom Peters for MicroFest Records; Duo, Helene Grimaud & Sol Gabetta for DG; Roomful of Teeth, Brad Wells & Roomful of Teeth for New Amsterdam Records; Times Go By Turns, New York Polyphony for BIS.

Best Classical Instrumental Solo -- Bartók, Eötvös & Ligeti, Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Peter Eötvös for Naïve; Corigliano Conjuror, Evelyn Glennie and David Alan Miller for Naxos; The Edge of Light, Gloria Cheng for Harmonia Mundi; Lindberg's Piano Concerto No. 2, Yefim Bronfman and Alan Gilbert for Dacapo Records; Salonen's Violin Concerto and Nyx, Leila Josefowicz and Esa-Pekka Salonen for DG; Schubert's Piano Sonatas D.845 and D.960, Maria Joao Pires for DG.

Best Classical Vocal Solo -- Drama Queens with Joyce DiDonato (Virgin Classics); Mission with Cecilia Bartoli (Decca); Schubert's Winterreise with Christoph Prégardien for Challenge; Wagner with Jonas Kaufmann (Decca); Winter Morning Walks with Dawn Upshaw (ArtistShare)

Best Classical Compendium -- Hindemith's Violin Concerto, Symphonic Metamorphosis, Konzertmusik, Christoph Eschenbach for Ondine; Holmboe Concertos, Dima Slobodeniouk for Dacapo Records; Tabokova String Paths, Maxim Rysanov for ECM.

Best Contemporary Classical Composition -- Lindberg's Piano Concerto No. 2 for Dacapo Records; Part's Adam's Lament for ECM; Salonen's Violin Concerto for DG; Maria Schneider's Winter Morning Walks for ArtistShare; Shaw's Partita for 8 Voices for New Amsterdam Records.

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TagsGrammys, Simon Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, 2L, DG, EMI, Sony, Claudio Abbado, Orchestra Mozart, Los Angeles Philharmonic, salonen, New York Phiharmonic, Alan Gilbert

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